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Space NASA Science

Cold War Standoff Over ISS Toilet 417

Posted by timothy
from the can't-even-agree-on-a-name dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The International Space Station, once a place where astronauts would share food and facilities, is said to be embroiled in a Cold War-like stand-off after a Russian cosmonaut complained he is no longer allowed to use a US toilet or the US gym machine. Gennady Padalka, a veteran Russian cosmonaut, says that space officials from Russia, the United States and other countries now require cosmonauts and astronauts to eat their own food and follow stringent rules on access to other facilities, including lavatories. Padalka, who will be the station's next commander, says the arguments date back to 2003, when Russia started charging other space agencies for the resources used by their astronauts and other partners in space station responded in kind. 'Cosmonauts are above the ongoing squabble, no matter what officials decide,' says Padalka. 'We are grown-up, well-educated and good-mannered people and can use our own brains to create normal relationship. It's politicians and bureaucrats who can't reach agreement, not us, cosmonauts and astronauts.' While sharing food in the past helped the crew feel like a team, the new rules oblige Russian cosmonauts and US astronauts to eat their own food. 'They also recommend us to only use national toilets,' says Padalka. 'What is going on has an adverse effect on our work.'"
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Cold War Standoff Over ISS Toilet

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  • by Ukab the Great (87152) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @09:29AM (#27401781)

    The escalation must stop before they argue over sharing of oxygen!

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @09:37AM (#27401887) Journal

    "Or vice-versa the humans toilet. The Earth-Vulcan politicians are squabbling over the respective costs, and don't want non-citizens using their toilets." - United Federation of Planets, official notice

    That's what Star Trek would be like if it were realistic - trade and cost disputes. Or just watch Babylon 5 ("By Any Means Necessary").

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @09:40AM (#27401931) Journal

    >>>What fucking idiot politician thought this up?

    Unfortunately nearly ALL of them qualify as "fucking idiots" so I can't really name a specific induhvidual. They couldn't even balance a typical home budget with ~$40,000/year income, much less a national economy. Why do we elect these bozos as our leaders?

  • Fair enough, but... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ultraexactzz (546422) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @09:50AM (#27402127) Journal
    Where the hell does the Japanese guy get to go? I mean, when you gotta go, you gotta go.
  • Re:Do it anyway (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:24AM (#27402651)

    After an extended tour on the ISS, your career in space pretty much *is* over. You never completely recover from the bone loss after an extended stay in zero-G.

  • Re:Invisible Lines (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:36AM (#27402817)

    You know, its amazing to think how much progress has been destroyed, avoided, or never attained because of stupid, idiotic, invisible little lines drawn up by a bunch of dead men. Maybe that's why I love the internet? It's kind of above this bullshit.

    I think it's more fair to say that's what was so great about the pre-1990's internet. Once it got politicians' notice, the apoliticalness geek orgy became harder to sustain (DMCA, snooping, RIAA/MPAA, China / Thailand / etc. blocking YouTube, etc.)

  • by FTWinston (1332785) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @11:18AM (#27403425) Homepage
    In case the first one breaks? You have to have a back up crapper, as the alternative is having it all floating round the room with you...
  • by syousef (465911) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @03:50PM (#27407667) Journal

    Should US tax dollars really be used to allow for billionaires to play around in space? No. The simple fact is, it is VERY expensive to repair/replace anything in space and Russia is increasing the wear on various components by bringing additional people aboard who provide no benefit what-so-ever.

    So you've spent in the 2 or 3 digit BILLIONs on something designed to foster international cooperation, and you're worried about a few tens or hundreds of thousands for some extra wear and tear on a toilet? Yeah that makes sense! Do you also invite people over for a party then get annoyed when they unexpectedly use your toilet? Or ask for a glass of water instead of the beer you budgeted for??

    If Russia wants their complaint to be heard, all they have to do is start being reasonable and responsible. Until such time, they can STFU and burden their own resources. If they don't like it, they can start acting responsibly.

    Yeah comments like this don't exactly fill me with hope for the future when it comes to understanding and international cooperation. Even more so when those comments are modded up!

  • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @04:46PM (#27408499) Homepage Journal
    Arthur C Clarke had a great idea along those lines. Political leaders should be chosen at random from a pool of people who have never shown an interest in the role.

    Its a good idea but implementing it has a few problems.
  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @05:54PM (#27409361) Journal

    >>>>>Unfortunately ALL of them qualify as "fucking idiots"

    >>Fixed that for you. You had an extra word in there

    I originally had that, but then I remembered Dr. Ron Paul who I happen to like, so I changed it to "almost all". If Mr. Paul were president, AIG bonuses would be a non-issue since they'd already be bankrupted and split-up into pieces. We'd not need to borrow 3000 billion from China for bailout bills, and the economy would already be on the way to recovery (basically a collapse followed by a reset) rather than burdened-down with heavy taxation and President Carter-style malaise (extreme inflation, dollar devaluation, and no end in sight).

    What our previous and current presidents have done is create yet-another gigantic bubble, but this time based on the U.S. Government's credit card (borrowing money from foreigners). That's not a solution and that bubble will eventually burst, sometime around 2020 when the baby boomers finally drive SS, Medicare, et cetera into default.

    Yep. The politicians are (almost) all fucking idiots. Both figuratively and literally.

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